Jim Dunnigan:

It’s easy to admire terrorists from a distance, rather more difficult when they are terrorizing you. (Via GlennReynolds.com.)

While Dunnigan was speaking of popular perceptions in the Mideast, I immediately found myself thinking about popular perceptions in the United States, where terrorists, loathed after 9/11, are now finding respect.
Even admiration. Or whatever one wants to call this statement from Michael Moore:

The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow ? and they will win.

Dunnigan is right.
It’s easy to admire them from a distance.
And easier for some than for others.